Update: Salvation Army Disaster Relief

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Salvation Army continues to provide emergency relief services to those struggling with the double blow of Tropical Storm Lee and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Some areas along the Northeast coast were hit with both storms. Continued flooding and a serious lack of resources have made living conditions extremely difficult for those in the impacted areas.

Within the last two weeks, The Salvation Army has served more than 515,000 meals, snacks and drinks to victims and emergency responders along the East Coast, using 76 emergency response vehicles.

“Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene did a one – two punch, severely increasing the need in flood impacted northeastern states. Nevertheless, The Salvation Army is there, serving and providing relief services to all community members in need”, said Major George Hood Community Relations & Development Secretary.

Here are the most recent updates:

In Pennsylvania:

The Salvation Army is feeding at ten Red Cross shelters and has deployed six canteens to assist.

In Vermont:

The Salvation Army is providing meals in the areas of Rutland and Waterbury.

In New York:

The Salvation Army is still feeding evacuees and emergency responders from mobile canteens in various New York towns such as Schenectady, Margaretville, Fleischmanns, Binghamton, Nichols and Sydney.

Salvation Army personnel are stationed at three Disaster Assistance Centers in Delaware, Schenectady and Schoharie counties. Centers are in operation from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

In Amsterdam, a feeding support is set up at the Montgomery County shelter. In Schenectady, a shelter is provided at the Schenectady High School.

In Massachusetts:

The Salvation Army deployed emergency relief teams to the areas of New Bedford, Attleboro and Metro Boston to provide food, drinks and clean-up kits.

The best way that you can help us provide is to donate monetarily. Donations can be made online by visiting www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.

You can also text the word ‘STORM’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your cell phone.

Checks should be designated “2011 Hurricane Season” and can be sent to:

Disaster Gift Processing Center

PO B ox 1959

Atlanta, GA 30301

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Remember 9/11: Salvation Army Operations at Ground Zero

Friday, September 9, 2011

The footage in this video gives some deeper insight into The Salvation Army’s role in the months following the September 11 attacks.

Our relief effort called “Compassion Under Fire,” allowed us to control the feeding operation at Ground Zero. The large tent that we set up next to Ground Zero was dubbed the “Taj Majal”. It is here that we were able to serve rescue and response workers looking for food and rest.

Our efforts were supported by several New York City restaurants as part of the Restaurant Revitalization Program. The program allowed for The Salvation Army to choose other restaurants from which to purchase food to serve at the tent.

Additionally, The Salvation Army provided protective gloves, masks, and socks. More importantly, Salvation Army pastoral caregivers were able to pray with and counsel rescue and recovery workers toiling under emotionally and physically draining circumstances.

“In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.” Psalm 62.7

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Remembering 9/11: War Cry’s September Issue

Friday, September 9, 2011

Have you checked out the newest edition of War Cry, a publication of The Salvation Army?

The powerful September edition is titled What We Learned From 9/11 and includes stories and testimonies from Salvation Army Officers who served on the front lines of need on September 11 and the months following.

Not to be missed:

The Story is of Glory, contributed by Craig H. Evans, Development Director for The Salvation Army of Portland, ME. Craig witnessed the terrorist attacks on September 11 from The Salvation Army’s divisional headquarters in Manhattan. His powerful account of that day is extremely moving. He attributes his team’s coordinated response amid many obstacles to God-given grace and strength.

There is Calvary, an account from Major Molly Shotzberger, Salvation Army Team Leader who worked at Ground Zero. Major Shotzberger writes about the worker who discovered three perfect crosses underneath the rubble of the World Trade Center- and called the site Calvary.

Presence – Read how Lt. Colonel Stephen Banfield, Salvation Army Incident Commander at Ground Zero, came to understand that sometimes the only thing a victim needs is another’s presence. Lt. Colonel Banfield did just that, standing with and comforting victims who were waiting for their loved ones to be discovered from the wreckage.

And much more!

Click Here to read the online articles. To order your subscription to War Cry, visit our website.

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Remembering 9/11: Video Footage

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Check out this short video containing footage from the 9/11 attacks, showcasing the “people in blue” near the end.

Did you know…

The Salvation Army was the first relief agency to arrive at the scene of the 9/11 attacks, reporting within a half-hour of the first plane hitting?
Officials granted us full control of the feeding operation at Ground Zero – a relief effort called Compassion Under Fire – for nine months following the attacks?
We served 3.2 million meals to victims, volunteers, firemen, policemen, and emergency disaster relief workers?
Salvation Army pastoral caregivers provided emotional and spiritual support to rescue and recovery workers?
We couldn’t have done any of this without the thousands of loving volunteers and generous donors that served our efforts.

Thank you for your support.

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Remembering 9/11: Honoring Major Evelyn Chavez

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Before joining The Salvation Army as an Officer, Major Evelyn Chavez worked as a Triage Medical Assistant. Her experience provided her with the proper training to deal with stress and trauma – fitting for the life-changing situations she’s been faced with since joining The Salvation Army.

And she’s seen it all.

Major Chavez provided care at Columbine high school in the late 90’s following the shootings. She served as Incident Commander for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and, most recently worked as a Chaplain in Port au Prince following the earthquake in Haiti.

But she’ll never forget Ground Zero. After the 9/11 attacks, Major Chavez worked tirelessly for two straight weeks in a Salvation Army tent at Ground Zero treating victims.

She sees every opportunity to serve as a blessing from God, a way to serve Him better. What an Amazing Example!

Thanks to the Salvation Army Western Territory’s blog Expect Change, her journal entries from that time have been recorded. Every day of this week Expect Change will be posting a journal entry from Major Chavez’s time at Ground Zero, chronicling the conversations, the scenes, and the personal moments that we’d otherwise not know about.

You can visit Expect Change by Clicking Here. This is not to be missed!

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Salvation Army Provides for Drought-Ridden Uganda

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Salvation Army is meeting an urgent need to provide water for parts of Uganda- a country seized by drought conditions causing suffering and severe child malnourishment. Children and families are without water and beds. The lack of water is also making hygiene a major issue.

The Salvation Army provided 200 mattresses, 200 wash basins, 500 bars of soap, and 100 containers of liquid soap to provide for those being sheltered and cared for. Plans are in the works to sink a borehole for a constant supply of clean water.

Additionally, more than 700 Ugandan families benefited from food provided by The Salvation Army. Each family received 15 kg of maize and 10 kg of beans. More projects are planned and an international Salvation Army team is currently on its way to assist the Uganda Command.

Donations allow for Salvation Army teams in Uganda and other African countries to provide during times of emergency. If you’d like to contribute, please visit the International Headquarters’ website at www.salvationarmy.org.

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The Salvation Army Commemorates 9/11

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the ten-year mark already. The attacks from September 11, 2001 are still very fresh for many. On that fateful morning, most of the nation watched the news stations anxiously from living rooms, schools and offices as the scenes unfolded. We painfully listened to the horrific depictions of death and destruction from witnesses nearby. For months following, we tracked the progress on ground zero. A decade later, we are still picking up the pieces and rebuilding, yet the pain and loss from losing friends, family, firefighters, policemen, and emergency relief workers is still present.
For months after and still, our nation mourns.
The time following those events was especially significant for The Salvation Army. That’s why throughout this entire week we will be remembering those we lost and honoring those who survived and helped.
The Salvation Army was the first relief agency to reach Ground Zero on that fateful day, reporting within a half-hour following the first plane crash at the World Trade Center site. We couldn’t have done without the 39,000 Salvation Army officers, volunteers, and staff who provided assistance during that time. We served relief workers at the scene for nine months until operations at Ground Zero officially concluded in May, 2002. This relief effort, called “Operation Compassion Under Fire” gave The Salvation Army full control of the feeding operation at Ground Zero. We served 3.2 million meals during those months. Most importantly, we were able to provide emotional and spiritual counseling and support to rescue and recovery-personnel.
In remembrance of this tragedy and in recognition of the 10th anniversary, The Salvation Army will host a variety of events and memorial services around the country to remember and honor the victims and heroes of the attacks and their loved ones. Events include memorial services, remembrance ceremonies, candlelight vigils, parades and food drives.
For more information, please check back here for updates.

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Salvation Army Opens Shelter for Flash Flood Victims

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee has dropped torrential rains on the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

The storm made landfall in New Orleans earlier today causing devastating flash flooding. Currently, New Orleans is under flash flood warnings.

The Salvation Army is dedicated to helping those in the states affected by this storm. In Jackson, Mississippi, forty residents have been evacuated by boat to The Salvation Army’s shelter in Pascagoula.

The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to stay informed of all warnings. With significant rainfall still in the forecast residents are reminded to stay away from moving waters.

Want to help our efforts providing for those in Lee’s path? Check out our website for ways to donate monetarily.

Check back for updates. You can also see our updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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Salvation Army Readies for Tropical Storm Lee

Friday, September 2, 2011

As the storm system threatens Tropical Storm Lee and twenty inches of rain on parts of the Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide relief if disaster strikes.

Read more about the coming storm here.

Flash flooding remains a concern for residents of these states. Salvation Army offices in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi are geared up with 24 mobile feeding units and a gigantic field kitchen in case a response is necessary. We are also prepared to provide clean-up kits, water, shower units, first-aid supplies, and spiritual care.
The Salvation Army would like to encourage residents in the path of this storm to prepare for Emergency. Read more about how you can stay prepared by Clicking Here.

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A Helpful Journey

Friday, September 2, 2011

The following was contributed by Gene and Edie Pigford, Lt. Colonels from The Salvation Army

Our journey began on Tuesday, August 30. Edie and I travelled to Oneonta to support the Salvation Army Command Center which was helping provide emergency relief intervention in communities devastated by Hurricane Irene.

Our first stop was Fleishmans where we stopped at a canteen from Ohio under the leadership of Lt Jason Price. The canteen was based at a local church which was coordinating local relief efforts. Local residents were appreciative of the food, including members of a Hassidic community who were pleased at the availability of kosher food.

Next was Margaretville, a community hit with considerable impact from Irene. One of the lifelong residents described seven feet of water coming down the town’s main street. Severe structural damage appears to have rendered the old historic section of Main Street not salvageable. The town is awaiting final word concerning the loss of this resource. One resident was concerned about his pets that he had to leave behind when they were told to evacuate. He was later able to retrieve them, but was struggling to find living arrangements for both him and his pets.

The Margaretville Fire Department was most appreciative of our efforts to convey some supplies on their behalf to the Prattsville community

Roxbury was well served by a canteen from Buffalo. They were able to coordinate with a local pastor and school principal to provide food, cleaning supplies and spiritual care to community residents. We had the privilege of praying with them and ask God to bless their efforts and their community.

By far the most devastated community was Prattsville. We were able to reach the community by back roads, some of which went directly through the devastated areas. The Army established a canteen relief site and distributed food and cleaning supplies to area residents and relief workers. A local church is currently providing hot meals in a tent, but the pastor indicated that soon these volunteers will need to look after their own homes. The State Police helped us connect with an 82 year old woman that had not been out of her house since the hurricane hit.

A few local merchants were very discouraged by the damage done to their businesses and questioned whether rebuilding would be worth it. The town supervisor was very helpful and encouraging to the community, offering hands-on assistance to residents.

The town has limited water and will not have power for some time due to broken power lines. Most of the town residents we came across were in good spirits and working hard to rebuild their towns.

Our sense is that some communities will recover fairly quickly. But others, like Margaretville and especially Prattsville, will need ongoing support for some time.

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